Cuadrilla secures injunction against Preston New Road protestors

The ruling will prohibit unlawful obstruction and other disruptive protests at the site entrance

By Jonny Bairstow

Cuadrilla has secured an interim injunction covering its shale gas exploration operations at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire.

Judge Pelling QC, of the¬†High Court in Manchester, delivered a ruling to replace an existing injunction forbidding trespass on the fracking firm’s property and surrounding farmland.

It also prohibits unlawful obstruction of the site entrance and adjacent main road, including protestors chaining themselves to objects and blocking or boarding vehicles accessing or leaving the site.

The injunction also covers the blockading of Cuadrilla’s suppliers’ properties.

The court will reconvene on the 10th of July to consider the matter further and to hear arguments from those who object.

Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, said: “We are pleased that the High Court has seen fit to grant this interim injunction which provides further reassurance to our employees, contractors and suppliers and the general public using the Preston New Road that they can go about their lawful business without intimidation and illegal unlawful blockades from activists.

“This injunction does not restrict lawful and peaceful protest but is an important deterrence against unlawful protest which we have witnessed to an extraordinarily high level at Preston New Road.”

A spokesman for Frack Free Lancashire said: “We were very disappointed that Cuadrilla’s application for an injunction has now been granted. We consider this to be a disproportionate measure which will make peaceful and lawful protest more difficult.

“It should be remembered that Cuadrilla’s development at Preston New Road was rejected at every level of local government and that it therefore has no social licence.”

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